field guide to the freshwater fishes of singapore

Index of fishes
General parts of a fish
Kelvin K P Lim and Peter K L Ng
  Family Osphronemidae
This Asian family differs from common gouramies by its bulky appearance, having a short spine in each pelvic fin, and a long, filamentous second pelvic fin ray. The dorsal is also placed way back near the tail.

Genus Osphronemus
photo of whole fish, side view
Photo: Francis Lim
Giant Gouramy
Osphronemus gouramy

Ikan Kalui, name in chinese characters

Primarily freshwater fish; 60 cm; oviparous (bubble-nest breeder); omnivorous (but more
herbivorous, subsisting on higher plants); solitary or in pairs; pelagic. Feral, uncommon. Rural ponds and reservoirs.

This gentle looking giant, the largest of the anabantoids, has thick lips, giving it an almost smiling expression. It is considered an excellent food fish, and has been cultivated for the table in fish ponds. In Singapore, it is also stocked in fishing ponds. Said to rank amongst the best tasting of the freshwater fishes, this species has been introduced to many parts of South East Asia, such that it is difficult to ascertain its true native origin.

For breeding, the male constructs a large, floating nest of vegetation along the banks. Young fishes look quite different and are very dark in colour with transverse bands. Large individuals often have the forehead swollen. In recent years, a very expensive red variety, purported to bring good luck, has made its appearance in the aquaria.
photo of whole fish, side view
Young Giant Gouramy
Note the more tapering snout
Photo: Francis Lim
Freshwater habitats
Fishes in Singapore
Amazing Fishy Facts
About the guidebook
From A Guide to Common Freshwater Fishes of Singapore by Kelvin K P Lim and Peter K L Ng
Published by the Singapore Science Centre and sponsored by BP

@Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research and Singapore Science Centre